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Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood sugar/glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Individuals that are diagnosed with prediabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years along with other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

Am I At Risk for Prediabetes?
According to CDC, individuals who have the following risk factors may be at higher risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

  • Overweight
  • 45 years of age or older
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Physically inactive (less than 3 times per week)
  • Gave birth to a baby that weight more than 9 pounds
  • Gestational diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol

Race, ethnicity, and age also affect your risk. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian American, as well as the aging population, are at particularly high risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.



Do I Have Prediabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), prediabetes can be diagnosed through one of the following tests:
1. A hemoglobin A1c (A1c) – Measures average blood glucose for the past 3 months.

  • Prediabetes is diagnosed at an A1C between 5.7% – 6.4%.

2. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) – Measures fasting blood sugar/glucose levels after not having anything to eat or drink for at least 8 hours. 

  • Prediabetes is diagnosed at a FPG level of 100 – 125 mg/dl.

3. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) – Measures blood glucose levels before and 2 hours after the consumption of a special sweet drink.

  • Prediabetes is diagnosed at a 2 hour blood glucose level of 140 mg/dl – 199mg/dl.


Can I Prevent Prediabetes/Type 2 Diabetes?

Prediabetes serious medical condition, so don’t let the “pre” in prediabetes fool you into thinking that it is problem that does not need to be addressed. Taking action right away by moderately losing weight and increasing physical activity can help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes.  Early prediabetes diagnosis can prevent or minimize some of the serious health concerns of type 2 diabetes, like:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of toes, feet or legs. 

Also, according to CDC, if you do have prediabetes, research shows that lifestyle changes of losing 5% - 7% of body weight, and getting at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.  The National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is led by CDC, can assist with the 5% - 7% body weight loss goal along with getting the required amount of daily physical activity.

What is the Diabetes Prevention Program?

The CDC Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a lifestyle change program delivered in-person or online, developed specifically to prevent type 2 diabetes.  The structure of the class is based on research led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which showed that individuals can decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% when they lose a small amount of weight (5% - 7% percent of total body weight) through healthful eating and being physically active for 150 minutes per week.

The DPP is not a quick fix. It is a yearlong program that focuses on making modifications that are lasting. Classes are delivered by professionally trained lifestyle change coaches, in a group setting, over a 12-month period. Sessions take place weekly for 6th months, followed by a second 6th months of maintenance.

According to CDC, during the first 6th months of the program, participants will learn how to:

  • Eat healthy
  • Add or increase physical activity
  • Deal with stress
  • Cope with difficult challenges like dining out 

The following second 6th months enhances skills learned for maintaining changes. Sessions will review key ideas such as training food and physical activity, goal setting, staying motivated and overcoming barriers. 

The cost of the CDC DPP varies depending on the location, organization offering the program as well as the type of program (online or in-person). For details on the cost, contact the program directly. Also, some employers and insurance companies cover the program, so check with your employer or insurance company to see if the program is covered.



Prediabetes Statistics

The CDC also estimates that about 86 million Americans now have prediabetes – That is 1 out of 3 adults, so everyone is in this together. Of those 86 million, 9 out of 10 of them don’t even know that they have it.

CDC Prediabetes Infograph

Click on the graphic above to see the full CDC Prediabetes Infographic

Want to Know More?

For additional information on prediabetes check out the following resources:

For additional information on the CDC Diabetes Prevention Program, and to find a program closest to you check out of following resources:


Last Updated: 2/16/2017